Exploring determination for long-term goals in a collectivist context: A qualitative study

Jesus Alfonso Daep DATU, Man Tak YUEN, Gaowei CHEN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


The positive human attributes of passion and perseverance for long-term goals (referred to as ‘grit’) can be linked to wide range of positive educational, psychological, and employment outcomes. The original grit theory posits that there are two dimensions which characterize determination for long-term aspirations ―perseverance of effort and consistency of interests―but some studies using quantitative design have suggested that consistency of interests may not be associated with adaptive outcomes in collectivist and interdependent societies. The aim of the qualitative study described here was to explore the meaning and significance of ‘grit’ in a collectivist society (Philippines). Participants were 10 Filipino undergraduate students who were interviewed individually and asked to describe specific life experiences wherein they have successfully achieved long-term goals despite challenges in life. Findings suggest that there are three key themes which characterize determination for long-term goals in this collectivist setting, namely perseverance of effort, consistency of interests, and adaptability to situations. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed. Copyright © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-271
JournalCurrent Psychology
Issue number1
Early online dateSep 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Life Change Events
Aspirations (Psychology)


Datu, J. A. D., Yuen, M., & Chen, G. (2018). Exploring determination for long-term goals in a collectivist context: A qualitative study. Current Psychology, 37(1), 263-271. doi:10.1007/s12144-016-9509-0


  • Collectivist societies
  • Filipino students
  • Grit
  • Qualitative research